Nov 18, 2021

Santos motivated to prove his worth at NorthPort

ARWIND Santos sees leadership and tons of experience as the major contributions he can bring with him at NorthPort.

The 2013 PBA MVP said the Batang Pier have a lot of potential to become a top contender in the coming Governors Cup that he's thrilled to share whatever he can for the team.

"Yung leadership kahit paano nandoon. Tapos yung laro ko same din with San Miguel. Nag iba lang naman team ko, pero hindi naman ibig sabihin babaguhin ko ang laro ko," the 40-year-old lanky forward told the nightly program The Game.

"In fact, mas nadagdagan nga yung motivation ko dahil bago ang team ko. So gusto ko magbigay ng malaking contribution hindi lang sa opensa, siyempre pati sa depensa. I'm sure hindi ako papayag na wala akong contribution itong darating na opening."

Santos ended more than a decade of partnership with San Miguel upon being traded to NorthPort in exchange for fellow big man Vic Manuel.

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He already began attending the Batang Pier's practice beginning this week.

Santos is part of the retooling NortPort made in the off-season, which also saw the franchise acquired Michael Calisaan as part of the Manuel trade, and the comebacking Art Dela Cruz.

Together, they'll team up with the core of the Batang Pier made up of Robert Bolick, Greg Slaughter, rookies Jamie Malonzo and Troy Rike, Paolo Taha, and Garvo Lanete.

Even before coming on board, the nine-time champion already saw a lot of promise with the team, which San Miguel ousted in the playoffs of the recent Philippine Cup.

"Wala pa nga ako sa kanila may potential na sila, e," said the 6-foot-4 Santos. "Kapag kalaban namin ang NorthPort, talagang naghahanda kami ng sobra dahil may talagang kakayahan sila."

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A consistent playoffs team, Santos said the immediate goal for the season-ending meet is for the Batang Pier to reach the semis with import Cameron Forte.

"We're looking at an automatic semis muna. Kapag naka-semis, dahan-dahanin muna namin," he said.(RG)